Reeder & Brown, P.C.


joliet criminal defense lawyerWhile juvenile cases are typically a matter of Illinois law, there are times when the federal government may get involved in the juvenile justice system. The Department of Justice (DOJ) may investigate conditions at juvenile institutions and take action when necessary. Overall, the Special Litigation Section of the DOJ is responsible for protecting the rights of juveniles who are confined in detention. You can always report matters when you are concerned about the conditions a juvenile is experiencing. If you already have a juvenile defense attorney, they will know where to make a report. 

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA)

DOJ has jurisdiction to review and investigate conditions within juvenile justice institutions under CRIPA.  DOJ does not have the authority to act in response to an individual claim. The agency stresses that they do not have the ability to review cases of wrongful detention of an individual juvenile or the conditions that one person is facing. However, DOJ will determine whether there are systemic issues at a particular institution. If these issues exist, DOJ will send a letter to the state or local government, directing them to take certain steps as corrective action. DOJ and the local government would need to reach an agreement on how the local government will fix these issues. If there is no agreement, DOJ can file a lawsuit against the local government in federal court. 

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act

In addition, federal law prohibits a law enforcement agency, or any agent acting on their behalf, from engaging in a pattern of conduct that deprives juveniles of their Constitutional rights. Every has rights under the Constitution, including those detained in a juvenile justice institution. The federal government can take legal action when there is widespread misconduct at juvenile detention facilities, such as:


Will County Criminal Defense AttorneyYou do not have to have been arrested to know about the Miranda warning. Anybody who has watched a police television show enough times can probably recite it verbatim. However, many people do not fully understand what this warning means. Their Miranda rights are essential rights afforded to individuals who are arrested. If you or a loved one have been arrested for a crime, make sure you understand how these rights can affect the criminal case.

Right to Remain Silent

Anybody who is suspected of a crime has the right to remain silent. This right stems from our constitutional right to avoid incriminating ourselves. One of the best things that a criminal defendant can do if he or she is arrested is say nothing. Police officers will ask questions about the defendant’s whereabouts on a certain day, the circumstances of the alleged offense, or the defendant’s personal life. However, the best thing to do is to avoid answering any questions, regardless of how innocent they may seem.

Defendants often wrongly assume that cooperating with the police is the best thing to do if they are accused of a crime - especially if they did not actually commit the crime. Unfortunately, however, honesty is not always the best policy in a situation like this. Your words can be manipulated and misinterpreted. Just as the Miranda warning states, anything you say can be used against you.


Plea Bargaining in Illinois Criminal Cases

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Joliet Criminal LawyerIf you or a loved one have been accused of a criminal offense, you may be unsure of what to expect next. Most people are only vaguely familiar with the Illinois criminal justice system. They are unsure of how a criminal case progresses or what steps are involved. Many people also have questions about plea bargaining. Plea deals, plea agreements, and plea bargains are all terms used to describe a situation in which a criminal defendant pleads guilty in exchange for some type of benefit. It is important to understand the potential advantages and disadvantages of accepting a plea agreement and when it is in a person's best interest to plead guilty to an offense instead of going to trial.

Examples of Plea Bargains

According to some research, a surprising 98 percent of criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements. Many prosecutors aim to get a criminal defendant to agree to a plea deal because it saves them the time and expense of going to trial. Illinois courts are often backlogged with cases and resolving a case through a plea agreement helps reduce this burden.

When an individual accepts a plea agreement, he or she pleads guilty to a criminal charge. In exchange, the prosecution may reduce the penalties faced by the defendant. For example, a defendant may be given community supervision or probation instead of jail time. In other cases, a person facing multiple charges is given the opportunity to plead guilty to one of the charges and get all of the other charges dropped. A plea agreement may also involve pleading guilty to a lesser offense. For example, suppose a defendant is facing felony charges for aggravated assault. The prosecution may offer a deal in which the defendant pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault and avoids the possibility of significant jail time and the lifelong label of being a felon.


Are Breathalyzers Ever Wrong? 

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Will County Criminal Defense LawyerBreath alcohol tests, or "breathalyzer tests," as they are sometimes called, measure the amount of alcohol on a person's breath. This information is used to calculate the person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Often, a police officer asks a person to take a breathalyzer test during a traffic stop because they suspect the person is driving under the influence. While breathalyzers are commonly used to measure BAC levels, they are not always accurate.

If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, you might be able to get the charges dropped or secure an acquittal by challenging the validity of the breathalyzer test results.

Roadside Breath Tests Versus Evidentiary Breath Tests

One of the most common misconceptions regarding DUI traffic stops involves the breath test period most people are not aware that there are two different types of breath tests used by police officers in Illinois. The first is a roadside, preliminary breath test. This test is used to demonstrate probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, the results of this breath test are not admissible in court. After somebody is arrested for drunk driving, they are taken to the police station and given a second, more accurate breath test. This is an evidentiary breath test. The results of this breath test can be used in a DUI case.


Plainfield Criminal Defense LawyerWhile domestic violence is a very real concern in households across Illinois, not every allegation of domestic abuse is legitimate. An individual may accuse a romantic partner or family member of abuse to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody case, or out of anger or revenge. If your girlfriend has falsely accused you of domestic violence, make sure you understand your rights and options under Illinois law. Additionally, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer with experience defending clients who have been accused of domestic violence.

Comply with any Orders of Protection

If your girlfriend has accused you of physical abuse, threatening behavior, harassment, or stalking, she may have obtained an Order of Protection (sometimes referred to as a restraining order) against you. This is an official court document that restricts your contact with her, and it may also restrict access to a shared home or prohibit you from spending time with children you have in common. The order will likely require you to stay a certain distance away from her and avoid calling, texting, or emailing her.

The first thing you need to know about protection orders is that violating a protection order is a criminal offense - even if you believe the order was unwarranted. Complying with the protection order and following the provisions contained in the order is one of the best things you can do to avoid worsening your situation.

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